Friday, November 6, 2015

Food Friday: Solid Gold SeaMeal Nutritional Supplement

I don't normally use Solid Gold's dog foods because the vast majority of them contain eggs, but I do use their SeaMeal nutritional supplement from time to time. Poor Brisbane is allergic to eggs, as well as chicken, turkey, and duck. Probably pollen, too. SeaMeal is a kelp-based vitamin and mineral supplement with digestive enzymes. It claims to be a good source of chlorophyll and iodine.
kelp supplement for dogs

This is an interesting dietary supplement that has been around since 1982 and is a favorite of many dog people. I came across it while looking for anything that would help Brisbane grow some hair. Even before the embarrassing shavedown, he had issues with hair loss and taking months to regrow lost fur.

I am skeptical of dietary supplements as I am skeptical of pretty much everything. I like well-constructed studies and trials that show statistically significant effectiveness of things. This is why I don't give my dogs joint supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, or MSM. Though tons of people swear by them, study after study has failed to show that they actually do anything more than a placebo. The most optimistic studies are usually small and poorly designed.
seaweed supplement for dogs

Studies on kelp as a dietary supplement focus almost exclusively on iodine. Other studies tend to be on the levels of arsenic found in many kelp supplements, and the effects of that arsenic. There have been some case studies on people developing hypothyroidism after ingesting large amounts of iodine via kelp supplements. Basically the thyroid gland shuts itself off for a while if there is too much iodine in the body.

I suspect that Brisbane may have low thyroid function based on his difficulty growing hair and inability to lose weight even on a very low-calorie diet with lots of exercise. Additional iodine in his diet could help with this, make it worse, or have no obvious effect. I've given him SeaMeal for several months at a time in the past with no obvious effect, but we're trying it again as he attempts to regrow his entire coat. I'm also trying to convince Ru to eat it as he is missing all the hair at the front of his neck from wearing a collar. Sisci is apparently getting everything she needs from her current diet, as her coat is so shiny it actually sparkles in the sun.

Solid Gold SeaMeal has a lot of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. I can see it being particularly useful for dogs that eat the same food every day, as it could help address unknown nutritional gaps. My dogs eat tons of different foods, both commercial and fresh, so they are less likely to have that particular issue. It's probably like multivitamins for humans, with no particular effect on anything. Somehow this has not stopped me from purchasing a 1 lb canister of it and sprinkling it on everyone's food.


  1. What is your thoughts on coconut oil? I fell into the hype and started feeding about a tablespoon a day for my guys. I had a week long trip and my husband didn't give it to them. They started shedding real bad and they smelled a bit. I had skipped 3 or 4 days of it a few weeks ago. The shedding was getting bad and they had a stronger odor. For curiosity I didn't bathe them but added the coconut oil back and was watching their smell and shedding. The shedding was noticeably better and the soggy smell is gone. I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on CO benefits. It may be BS. It I think I'll stick with it.

    1. I fell into the hype myself and was putting it in their food on a regular basis until I actually looked up the evidence for all the claims about it. There doesn't seem to be any solid research that demonstrates it does any of the things the hype claims. https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/coconut-oil/ It's a decent way to get more fat into little Ru, but Brisbane just doesn't need the calories. I never noticed a difference in their coats, Brisbane is always allergy-gunky and Ru is always smooth and shiny no matter what they're eating.